Gates Hands Microsoft Reins To Ballmer

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Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates yesterday handed the reins of the software giant over to Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer's promotion to CEO will allow Gates, who will retain the position of Microsoft chairman, to concentrate on product development and return "to what I love most - focusing on technologies for the future." This will include working on the February release of Windows 2000 and the company's next major project called Next Generation Windows Services, which will control new products and services over the Internet.

Ballmer will remain Microsoft president as he takes on the job of running the company's day-to-day operations. Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 and was named president in 1998.

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